News24 Wire reported that Zimbabwe has lifted a four-year ban on chrome exports. Furthermore, the country has licensed 12 private companies and a state-owned firm to ship excess ore for smelting outside the country and has lowered electricity tariffs for companies mining the metal.
As quoted in the market news:
The mineral-rich country holds about 12% of the world’s chromite reserves, with South Africa holding 70%. Zimbabwe’s Mines Minister Walter Chidhakwa said in Harare that the ban was lifted to promote growth of the chrome mining sector, while Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said mining is a crucial ‘low hanging sector’ which needs all the fiscal support it can get to spur it to growth.
‘A (chrome ore export) ban that is not supported by South Africa will not succeed,’ Chidhakwa said. He added that the ban had not resulted in additional smelting capacity because of a decline in international prices, high electricity tariffs and a lack of efficient and modern technology for processing chrome ore to ferrochrome.
‘The government has with immediate effect lifted the ban to allow for the export of 30-million tonnes of chrome ore,’ said Chidhakwa. He also announced that the government has upped the royalty on chrome mining from 2% to 5%.